Wooden Dummy – Beyond the Form
The V.T.A.A.’s wooden dummy
When learning the Muk Yan Jong Fat (Wood-en dummy technique) there are three stages to your development.
The first of these is the Pattern, which in itself is split into two parts, basic and advanced, with the greatest differences being visible in sections 1,2,3 and 8, and mainly connected with the distance between you and the Jong.
After the pattern is understood, we then move on to the Drills.
There are varying drills which can be connected with each section but this best (and easiest) understood, when we simply think of drilling the main technical element presented within that given section.
Then we move onto the Freestyle (Free-flow, Freeform, call it whatever you like), with the idea here being that, you apply the close quarter skills developed through the Form, to sparring like training.
The thinking is that, you only have two arms but the dummy has three, meaning that whenever both of your arms are engaged, there is still another arm to cause you a threat and demand your attention.
This principle does not have to be played at a thousand miles per hour, but at a pace to suit you, simply to keep you aware that there is always a danger to be addressed, so take your time until you feel comfortable with this.
Incidentally, the photo above is of the Wooden Dummy at the V.T.A.A. in Hong Kong (Ip Man’s last school since 1968).
The reason for the fist engraved on the front is to remind students that although your opponents attacks may vary in direction, your target never does (always aiming down centre).
In this clip from my Leeds class, I looked at this in a practical exercise, using the dangers of class type, single attacks only and the awareness on the attacker to search for follow on gaps.
I do hope you can hear what is being said and that you get the principles being addressed.
Thank you for watching